What is intermittent fasting? Also known as IF or intermittent energy restriction, is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. Three methods of IF are alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting and daily time restricted feeding. The most common and currently on trend is the daily time restricted feeding which are:
- The 16/8 method – involves skipping breakfast and restricting the eating period for 8 hours then fasting for 16 hours in between;
- Eat-Stop-Eat – involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week;
- The 5:2 diet – involves consuming 500 to 600 calories on two non consecutive days of the week then eat normally for 5 days.
Studies showed that IF can help in weight loss but it’s definitely not for everyone. People who are underweight and have or have a history of any eating disorders must not start IF and consult a qualified health practitioner first.
Known benefits of IF are as follows:
- Helps in weight loss
- Reduces insulin resistance (protecting against Type 2 Diabetes)
- May reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol
- Increases brain hormone, BDNF which may aid in growth of nerve cells.
If you’re looking into starting or wanting to start intermittent fasting, we highly suggest that you consult a health practitioner first.